MCPS Students Are Top Performers on Advanced Placement Exams

October 8, 2010
   A record number of Montgomery County Public Schools students were among the nation’s top performers on Advanced Placement (AP) exams last spring.

   A total of 5,228 MCPS students earned an AP Scholar Award for their outstanding performance on AP exams given since the beginning of 2010, according to the College Board, which administers the tests. That’s an increase of 336 students, or nearly 7 percent, over the number of students who were named AP Scholars in 2009, and more than double the number of top performers just eight years ago.

   Additionally, the number of MCPS students who received the highest honor—National AP Scholar—jumped from 377 in 2009 to 442 this year—and increase of more than 17 percent. The strong performance of MCPS students on these rigorous exams underscores the benefits of the school system’s ongoing efforts to get more students to take, and succeed, in AP courses. Scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams is the sixth key in the Seven Keys to College Readiness, a clear pathway for students to follow that increases their chances to be prepared for, and succeed in, college.

   “These latest results are further proof that our push to get more of our students to take challenging and rigorous courses is paying off,” said Superintendent of Schools Jerry Weast. “And they are not only taking more AP courses, they are performing at college-ready levels on the exams in record numbers.”

   The College Board confers four levels of awards, each reflecting increasing levels of attainment. In 2010, the College Board designated:

        ·  442 MCPS students as National AP Scholars for earning a mean score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more AP exams. This is up from 377 in 2009.
        ·  1,755 MCPS students as AP Scholars with Distinction for earning a mean score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more AP exams.
        ·  1,025 MCPS students as AP Scholars with Honor for earning a mean score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more AP exams.
        ·  2,006 MCPS students as AP Scholars for earning scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.

   The 2010 results for Maryland and the nation have not yet been released by the College Board. In recent years, MCPS students accounted for approximately four out of every 10 Maryland awards and more than one out of every 100 national awards.

   AP Performance for the graduating class of 2010 is expected to be released early next year. Nearly two-third of MCPS 2009 graduates (64.4 percent) took at least one AP test, significantly higher than the state of Maryland (40 percent) and more than double the nation (26.5 percent). More significantly, nearly half of 2009 MCPS graduates (48.7 percent) scored a 3 or higher on at least one exam—almost double the Maryland pass rate (24.8 percent) and more than triple the national rate (15.9 percent).

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